Stephon Marbury was suspended one game and docked nearly $400,000 in salary today by the New York Knicks, who say he refused to play in a loss this week at Detroit.
NEW YORK — Stephon Marbury was suspended one game and docked nearly $400,000 in salary today by the New York Knicks, who say he refused to play in a loss this week at Detroit.
The disgruntled guard insists coach Mike D'Antoni never ordered him to play. The discipline by the Knicks clearly escalates the tension between the team and its one-time star, who has not played this season under their new coach.
"If you say I got to play, I'm going to play," Marbury, speaking before the suspension, said in Friday's New York Post. "If he said I have to play, guess what, I'm going to get on the court and play, period. If I refuse to play, I'm getting suspended. I never told him I'm not going to play. Those words never came out of my mouth. That's insubordination."
Marbury will not be paid when he sits out Saturday's home game against Golden State and will lose an additional game's pay for his conduct Wednesday in the 110-96 defeat. Marbury earns $21 million in salary this year, drawing about $190,000 a game.
"A player's central obligation is to provide his professional services when called upon," Knicks president Donnie Walsh said in a statement. "Because he refused the coach's request to play in the team's last game, we had no choice but to impose disciplinary action."
Marbury told the Post that "I'm not going to let them" take his money. Marbury said he doesn't trust D'Antoni and wanted out.
"We need to separate from the relationship," he said. "The marriage is over. It's a done deal."
"I didn't create this," Marbury added. "I'm sitting inside the car. I'm not behind the wheel in the driver's seat. I have no control of the wheel of the car, if we're turning or going straight. I'm sitting in the back seat. He's not going to play me because my heart isn't in it, because the way he treated me. That's on him, not me."
Marbury was not in D'Antoni's plans after the coach was hired, but trades and injuries have left the Knicks short-handed. After two trades last week, Marbury suited up at Milwaukee but declined to play. At the time, D'Antoni said he wasn't angry and didn't consider the decision subordination.
On Wednesday, however, guard Nate Robinson missed the game with a groin strain, but Marbury did not suit up.